By Legal Futures’ Associate Landmark Information
Chris Loaring, Managing Director of Landmark Legal and Argyll Environmental, part of Landmark Information, responds to the outcomes from yesterday’s Spring Budget, which was delivered by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak:
“Having witnessed significant devastation this winter from floods, we were not surprised to see the Chancellor committing to further investment in defences. A £120m boost has been made immediately available to repair defences damaged over recent months, while a further £200m is being provided to communities to build flood resilience measures. I believe the first step is to make sure homeowners and prospective purchasers are fully aware of risks presented by flooding; in recent research we conducted 62% of people said they had never checked their flood risk, which we were really shocked by. By being flood aware and putting resilience measures in place, this combination will certainly help people recover far quicker, should flood events occur again in the future.”
Stamp Duty Land Tax
“There was a lot of talk ahead of the Budget that suggested there might be some changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax for mainstream purchasers, to help further stimulate the market. This didn’t come to fruition, which will frustrate many in the industry. A 2% stamp duty surcharge was however announced relating to the purchase of UK investment properties by non-resident overseas buyers.”
“All of our in-house environmental consultants were delighted to hear the Chancellor’s commitment to support natural habitats. Mr Sunak confirmed that 30,000 hectares of trees will be planted, a further 35,000 hectares of peatland will be restored over the next five years, and £800m will be invested to create additional carbon capture ‘clusters’, all of which is significant. In all, £640m is being provided for a new ‘nature for climate’ fund, which we applaud.
“Here at Landmark, our FloodFutures predictive flood model is supporting local authorities, utility providers, planners and other professionals to understand what impacts the changing climate may have in the future. By investing in natural methods to help reduce our overall carbon footprint – and potentially help towards alleviating flood risk – it’s certainly one step in the right direction of improving our future climate – although many more giant steps will be needed to continue addressing this massive issue.”